PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Report: Hacker Group Scattered Spider Behind Clorox Cybersecurity Breach

In recent months, a group of hackers known as “Scattered Spider” has been making headlines for their involvement in major cyberattacks.

This group, known for its social engineering tactics, has been linked to breaches on major casino companies, including Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International. Now, they are suspected to be behind a cyberattack on Clorox that resulted in a nationwide shortage of its cleaning products, Bloomberg reported Wednesday (Oct. 4), citing unnamed sources.

The cyberattack on Clorox was first disclosed by the company in August, and officials suspect that Scattered Spider is responsible for the breach, according to the report. The attack significantly reduced sales and profit for Clorox in the quarter ending in September and continues to impact the company’s operations. Clorox has stated that all of its U.S. facilities were affected by the cyberattack.

Scattered Spider hackers specialize in targeting call centers and IT help desks, using social engineering tactics to impersonate employees and gain access to accounts, the report said. Their recent attacks have caused significant disruptions. For example, at MGM properties, guests were unable to charge purchases to their rooms, slot machines were shut down, and reservation websites were not functioning properly.

The impact of the cyberattack on Clorox has been even more severe, per the report. The company has reported a decrease in net sales by as much as 28% from a year ago, and organic sales are expected to decrease by as much as 26%. This is a significant setback for Clorox, as it had previously anticipated an increase in organic sales by mid-single digits.

Clorox is working with the FBI to investigate the cyberattack, and the company expects ongoing operational impacts in the second quarter as they try to return to normalized operations, according to the report.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that 43% financial institutions (FIs) have experienced increased levels of fraud this year. The average cost of fraud for FIs with assets of $5 billion or more has risen to $3.8 million this year, a 65% increase from the $2.3 million reported in 2022, according to Increasing Fraud Heightens Need for Newer, Better Technologies,” a PYMNTS and Hawk AI collaboration.